Governor Scott Walker
Documents released by The Guardian indicate that Gov. Walker solicited and received corporate checks for the 2011 Senate recall fight and his own 2012 recall election. The checks – cut from corporate treasuries, not granted by individuals – were deposited into the account of the dark money group Wisconsin Club for Growth, which prosecutors viewed as a “subcommittee” of Walker’s campaign in violation of the statutes as they were written at the time. Moreover, it appears that Walker and the GOP-controlled legislature later took actions to benefit a number of these secret, corporate contributors and the public was none the wiser. The Guardian exposé focused on the shocking story of one corporate giver, lead pigment manufacturer Harold Simmons, who gave a $500,000 corporate check on top of $250,000 in personal contributions and was rewarded with a change to the law which would retroactively cancel the lawsuits of 173 children poisoned by lead paint. But other corporate donors got special treatment as well. Wisconsin has had an absolute ban on corporate contributions in politics since 1905, when Republican Governor “Fighting Bob” LaFollette and the Wisconsin legislature were battling the corrupt stranglehold of railroad and timber barons on state government. In 2015, the legislature made extensive changes to the campaign finance chapter, but did not make those changes retroactive. Included in the new documents is a never-before-seen snippet of an interview with Walker conducted by prosecutors related to John Doe I dated March 22, 2012, where Walker is asked about corporate checks and indicates that he knows quite well they are barred. Walker is asked what his finance committee was soliciting for his first gubernatorial race, small donors, middle donors, corporate donors? “Yeah, it would vary,” responds Walker, but “It wouldn’t be corporate donors.” “’Cuz you can’t do that.” You can read the leaked documents here: documentcloud.org/public/search/projectid:%2029102-the-john-doe-files.
Representative Reid Ribble
Ribble announced the results of an effort six years in the making: a Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) proudly built in Marinette will forever honor the men and women who built it with the name USS Marinette. “Marinette’s shipbuilding industry is the pride of Wisconsin, and the construction of Littoral Combat Ships touches not only the men and women who work in the shipyard, but the whole community around Marinette. Building LCSs brings billions of dollars in economic activity, and a huge amount of pride in contributing ships that are vital to our national security. Marinette has earned this honor, and I am so glad they are receiving it.” On Sept. 22, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus will officially name LCS 25 the USS Marinette.
Source: Ribble press release
Senator Ron Johnson
Sen. Johnson joined Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and six other colleagues in introducing the State Flexibility to Provide Affordable Health Options Act, legislation that would give states the ability to help their residents who are faced with significant premium increases and limited options on Obamacare exchanges. “I have worked for years to limit the damage and harm done to real people by Obamacare, a partisan policy that promised marketplace competition and higher quality health plans at lower costs and instead delivered the exact opposite,” Johnson said. “This bill would provide necessary relief to Wisconsinites who, under Obamacare, would be penalized for not purchasing a product that they cannot afford or does not meet their needs. It will allow the state to provide Wisconsinites receiving subsidies more options than just those offered on the Obamacare exchanges for 2017.”
While this bill would only apply for plan year 2017 as a temporary step while work continues on efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare with more successful reforms, it would be a significant step to free Americans who are currently suffering the serious negative consequences of Obamacare. Projections for 2017 include premiums rising by double-digit percentages and more limited options under Obamacare. If the state chooses to use this authority to allow residents to use subsidies outside of the exchange, the legislation will waive the Obamacare law’s requirement that you must buy a specific health care plan or pay a fine of as much as $2,000 for a family of four next year.
Source: Johnson press release
Senator Tammy Baldwin
Sen. Baldwin applauded the passage of the Water Resources Development Act of 2016 (WRDA) in the U.S. Senate. WRDA includes many reforms authored by Senator Baldwin and investments she has championed in the Senate. “Communities in Wisconsin and across the United States are committed to providing safe drinking water for families and their children, but we need to invest in rebuilding our water infrastructure,” said Baldwin. “I’ve heard from Wisconsinites who are calling for stronger investments to meet this challenge and I have worked in the Senate to advance bipartisan solutions.” The Water Technology Acceleration Act accelerates the development and deployment of water technologies to solve our most pressing water challenges, including lead safety, phosphorous reduction and treatment of bacteria and nitrates. Baldwin’s reforms would create a federal role for accelerating the testing, deployment and encouraging the commercialization of technologies, including pipes with smart sensors that can tell you when water is contaminated or when water pressure is dropping. The legislation would also help accelerate technologies to address livestock waste treatment systems, green infrastructure and updated stream gauges, which can help reduce the costs of a variety of water problems, such as upgrading water infrastructure and treating manure that runs into surface waters.
Source: Baldwin press release
President Barack Obama
President Obama led a select group of nations in a special refugee summit on Sept. 20 to address the world’s worst refugee crisis since World War II. The results of this summit are considered critical after prior negotiations have failed to produce substantial progress and a wider U.N. refugee summit passed only a nonbinding resolution. Invited to Obama’s summit, co-hosted with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, are nations that have been most accommodating to refugees, including Germany, Jordan, Mexico, Canada, Sweden and Ethiopia. U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power noted that, to date, “a small number of countries have been carrying a disproportionate share of the refugee opportunity and burden.”